CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA, OVCTOBER 18, 2016 -- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced funding through USDA's Water and Environmental programs to help the City of Fairfield make enhancements to its wastewater facility that will improve the water quality in southeast Iowa.
"The recent flooding in Iowa and other parts of the country has demonstrated just how important high-functioning wastewater systems are to our communities. Sanitary waste disposal systems and safe drinking water are vital not only to public health, but also to the economic vitality of rural America," Vilsack said. "Building and maintaining water infrastructure creates jobs, boosts the economy, provides rural families with safe and reliable water, and this particular investment will help to minimize the impact of future flooding on homes and businesses in southeast Iowa."
USDA Rural Development is awarding a $24,995,000 direct loan to the City of Fairfield that will help rehabilitate the city's existing wastewater facility and bring it into compliance with Iowa Department of Natural Resources requirements. The existing plant was originally constructed in 1966, with updates and improvements added in 1984 and 2013. Still, the plant is not able to meet discharge limits and overflows to a local stream during heavy rain events.
This loan, the largest USDA Water and Environmental Programs loan ever issued in Iowa, will allow city leaders to implement a master plan over the next 10 years to make improvement to the treatment plant, repair much of the collection system and address high flows during rains. Treatment plant upgrades include such things as new trash screens, new grit removal systems and pumps, as well as an enlarged flow equalization basin.
Interest rates for this program which provides rural communities with the technical assistance and financing necessary to develop drinking water and waste disposal systems are currently at historic low levels.
For more information on how USDA's investments have served to protect and sustain America's water supply, please visit the Impact of USDA Investments to Protect and Sustain America's Water Supply Fact Sheet.
Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested nearly $13 billion to start or expand 112,000 rural businesses; helped 1.2 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 9,200 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. USDA also has invested $31.3 billion in 963 electric projects that have financed more than 185,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines serving 4.6 million rural residents. For more information, visit USDA's entry on our medium.com website, "Rural America is Back in Business."